Tuesday, April 30, 2013

North Vancouver: Lynn Valley Main Library

1277 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver

Hey, remember when I posted about being half way through this project but that "there will be more delays and asides along the way"? Well this is one of them!

While this blog is "about" the Vancouver Public Library system it's important to remember that there are lots of other library systems nearby! Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, and West Vancouver all have their own library systems. In fact there are more library systems in this area than the city I grew up in had branches.

Of course, some of this is because North Vancouver has two separate library systems. No, I'm not joking. There's a North Vancouver District Public Library system and a North Vancouver City Library system. They are entirely unrelated. "In the centre of the North Vancouver area lies the City of North Vancouver, which is a separate municipality having its own library system."

Well, that certainly clears everything up...

Anyway, I had heard about North Shore Writers Festival (an event I somehow managed to be the only attendee on a poorly publicised Facebook event page) and decided it would be a good time to head out into the wild North and try to find one of these libraries. So I grabbed a friend and dragged them off on a bus trip to somewhere. We eventually saw the library, got off the bus, and walked into the entrance to the building (see above photo). Sort of. We walked down a hallway with a glass wall that showed the library on the other side. Then we were outside again. Outside a different entrance (see below photo).

Okay, that's kind of weird. But whatever. We had arrived just in time for a talk by author Terry Fallis, who I'd never heard of before. (I hadn't actually bothered to look up what was going on at the festival or who was going to be there.) Thankfully he was a humourist who had written a book about a Canadian astronaut! (The next talk was by an author who'd written about a family member dying of cancer, and I'm kind of glad I missed that.)

Fallis talked about his writing process, how meeting an astronaut is pretty awe-inspiring and overwhelming (something I can relate to as I interviewed Chris Hadfield years ago, so cool!), and read a chapter from his book. It was surprisingly enjoyable for something we didn't even realize we'd be attending, even if my friend and I ended up standing in the back of a crowded room. I might actually check out some of his books next time I'm seeking some Canadiana to read. Here's a blog post written by a classmate who was there for her job or something.

Afterwards we checked out the library and it seemed to have a pretty good selection of stuff. It also had Playaway audio books, pre-recorded audio book players that I'd never seen before. They're pretty neat!

So overall this was totally a successful adventure, and I'm sure to check out other library systems before too long!

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